One of the players surviving here on Day 3 is David Benefield. While Benefield has been a well known player for quite some time now — mainly due to his success online under the moniker "Raptor" — he's earned even more success in 2013 by making the World Series of Poker November Nine.
Benefield, along with the eight other competitors to reach the WSOP Main Event final table, waded through a field 6,352 entrants to become part of this illustrious club. In early November, Benefield and his partners will be showcased on the biggest stage in poker when the final table begins following the few-month hiatus.
Here in the European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event, Benefield entered Day 3 with just over 120,000 in chips. Just before the first break, Benefield found a double up, and he now has 272,000 in chips with the money bubble looming.
Every year since the inception of the WSOP November Nine, one or two players that reach the final table of the WSOP Main Event have put up some nice results in the months off. In 2008, the first year, Ivan Demidov took third in the WSOP Europe Main Event. In 2009, Antoine Saout and James Akenhead made the final table of WSOP Europe, then in 2010 it was Joseph Cheong who had a couple big six-figure results in the lead-up months. In 2011, Matt Giannetti won a World Poker Tour event, and in 2012 a few of the final table players all had cashes leading up to their big day in October.
This year, Benefield could very well be the standout performer in the months leading up to the final table. He already took fifth in the €50,000 Super High Roller here in Barcelona for €208,150, and is running deep here in the Main Event. WSOP Main Event chip leader JC Tran has already added a score of $526,890 in August after placing second in the first WPT Alpha8 event, but if Benefield wins one of the largest EPTs in history here for over €1,000,000, he would surely take the cake in poker headlines around the world.